TRAVEL

This category contains 23 posts

Buried treasure

The lost city of Champaner is one of India’s forgotten gems – and it’s not even hard to get to.  The road from Baroda is a highway to the new India, humming with trucks, a flat, smooth drive past industrial parks and scrubby fields. Then, after 40 kilometres or so, a mountain builds as suddenly as a … Continue reading

The Kangra Valley Railway

Running 163 kilometres from Pathankot in Punjab to Jogindernagar in Himachal Pradesh, the Kangra Valley Railway is one of the last of its kind: a narrow gauge railway in original working condition that still serves a local community. In other parts of the world, these railways have either been torn up or turned into tourist … Continue reading

Holy smoke

Weird stuff in an ancient Himalayan village It’s easy to describe the trek to Malana. The first half is horizontal, the second half vertical — a gentle walk through a pine-forested valley, followed by a breathless struggle up a sheer mountainside in the glaring sun. You crest at the village, a collection of castle-like stone … Continue reading

Exhibition – ma yellow diamond

Malé, the capital of the Maldives, is very different from the tourist brochure image of the Indian Ocean archipelago. The densely populated city has an intensely human landscape, with walls painted in stripes and patches of bright colour, and words and signs scratched seemingly at random into the surfaces. The colours may be applied in … Continue reading

Where heaven meets hell

At Tasmania’s Macquarie Harbour, dark deeds are swallowed by the primeval forest On the map, Macquarie Harbour has the mouth of a crustacean: a barbed spike and a tight overbite. Behind this lies a vast briny belly. One of the largest harbours in the world, the port plunges deep into the Tasmanian wilderness, 260-odd square … Continue reading

Flying colours

January 14 is the festival of Uttarayan in Gujarat, marking the end of winter, the return of the sun and the reawakening of the gods. It is also the day of the kite flying festival. Flyers hold kite fights, attempting to send competing kites crashing to the ground. They use special string, dipped in a … Continue reading

Strenuous relaxation

Angus McDonald and friend take some time out on Thailand’s Railay peninsula, where rock climbing is optional but lolling on the beach is unavoidable.  The information was accurate, if not the spelling. ‘Danger! Sliperpy area a head,’ said the sign. In front of us, a fraying rope traced a line up a wall of jungle, rock, and … Continue reading

Meeting the Mama of all mamas

by Amy Towle By the door of a grey mud hut with a straw thatched roof tilting slightly to the right, stood the oldest woman of the Pokot tribe. A worn, hairless cow hide, tied in at the waist, covered her from knee to chest. Her chest and neck were hidden by thousands of coloured beads woven … Continue reading

The wonderful world of McLeodganj

Whether you’re after phosphorescent cakes, a bulk order of Maggi noodles, monkeys walking the high wire, a porter, a prayer flag, a quick chant over a butter lamp, a climb of a mountain or a cup of chai, you know it’s never more than ten minutes away in McLeodganj. All this, and so much more. … Continue reading

A cosy day walk from Bhagsu Nag

Four of us trekked up above Bhagsu Nag on Sunday and crossed a ridge below Triund for spectacular views of McLeodganj, Dharamshala and Khaniara. The trek, which begins at the Shiva Café just above the Bhagsu waterfall, makes a pleasant – and shorter – alternative to the Triund trek, which can get a bit overcrowded these days. … Continue reading